744 | To Lord Barrington

    Boston Feb 20 1769

    My Lord

    I must appear negligent in not writing to your Lordship of late but I assure you that it is not for Want of Respect or Attention to Business. I am hard worked every way; & in writing I have none but myself & my third Son, who having taken his Degree of A.B.1 I am obliged to employ as a Copyist, not daring to trust Strangers. An Answer to your last2 could not have gone before, if it had been immediately wrote after their Receipt.

    The Affair of Virginia has long ago been settled in my Mind. As for the Title I see great Difficulties in declining it which did not attend the first Proposal. Many private Letters from London, which have been published in the Newspapers, mention an Intention to make me a Baronet,3 so that it has generally gained Credit. And my declaring that I had no Expectation of it (I meant immediate) has been interpreted, that I have refused it. This has made my Friends blame me for neglecting to take this Opportunity to advance my Family; & my Enemies for presuming to refuse his Majesty[’s]4 honours if they were really offered to me. Mr Temple has made this a Subject of Part of a Libell he has lately published against me,5 which, as My Lord H has a little Share in it, I shall send to him by my next Packet.6 I could bear this; but my Lord H having kindly offered to take off from me the Expence of the Patent, which I have since: freely owned will be a Benevolence convenient to me, I know not how to refuse his Favours.7 I have therefore wrote to him8 that if his Lordship shall think that such an Appointment will promote his Majesty’s Service either in this Station or in any other to which I may be appointed, which I must own I think it may, I shall most thankfully accept of this Honor, if his Majesty shall be pleased to confer it upon me. And I have for this Purpose been forming a Scheme which with a little Help, not unreasonable to request, will provide for an Income to attend upon this Honor. I have it not ^the plan^ ready now, & If I had, I should not send it, as it it9 would look like making Terms.

    I have no Thoughts of going from hence ’till after the next Meeting of the Assembly, which will not be, without special Orders, untill the last Day of May. When the Session is over, if Things are tolerably quiet & I have no particular Commands to execute, I should be glad to go to England so as to arrive there before Winter sets in. But if the Kings Service shall require my staying here I shall chearfully comply. Your Lordship is pleased to signify your Approbation of my Conduct: it is generally allowed that my spirited Message to the Convention contributed greatly to the preventing violent Measures. My Friends here say that it was the boldest Act I have ever yet done; & indeed I knew if their Deliberations has10 taken another Turn I was to have been seized;11 & whether my Life would have been spared or not would have been determined by very wicked Men. But it was quite necessary to the Kings Service, & I did not ballance about the Consequences.

    My Friend Mr Temple as your Lordship has been pleased to call him some Time ago, has got Business enough upon his Hands now, not to need to quarrel with me. The Disputes between him & the other 4 Commissioners, which began soon after they arrived here & have improved with their knowledge of him have ^now^ got to such a head, that it is declared on both Sides that they cannot continue together: that is that the 4 Commissioners who have endeavoured to support their Commission & the Laws by which & for which it was constituted & have acted therein in Concurrence with & with the Advice & Approbation of all the Officers of the Crown, except Mr Temple himself, must either be removed to keep Mr Temple; or the latter associated with the Party in Opposition to the Government & the Power of Parliament, & cooperating with them in endeavouring to prevent the Execution of the Commission & to oblige the Ministry & Parlimt to revoke it, & thereby restore the Inactivity of the Laws of Trade which prevailed before this Appointment, must be removed, that the Commissioners may go on with the Execution of their Office without Obstruction. This is just as if a Question was put whether Mr Hutchinson or Mr Otis was the fittest Person to be Governor of this Province: The Contrast is not greater in the former Case. I have bore no Part in this Dispute, except from the Effects it had upon my own Business, as it has been the Cheif Occasion ^of all the Opposition^ I have met with from the Council within these 6 months past:12 but I have not as yet assigned this Cause for it. As I have entered so far into this Business, your Lordship will use this Information with all due Caution & Secrecy.

    I am &c

    The Right honble The Lord Visct Barrington

    L, LbC     BP 7: 258-261

    In handwriting of Thomas Bernard. Barrington replied with No. 760, expressing an interest in undermining John Temple with information provided by FB.